The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) have signed a revised agreement on how they work together and share information on compliance, enforcement and systemic issues.
The new memorandum of understanding (MoU) aims to support the agencies to address persistent and systemic phone and internet issues by way of a framework for the referral of compliance and systemic issues in complaints.
The MoU also expects a more proactive process to ensure telcos join and comply with TIO’s dispute resolution scheme, which deals with landline and mobile phone and internet complaints, usually concerning billing and coverage issues.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the MoU was a positive step forward for telco consumers in Australia.
“This agreement will further enhance the working relationship between the ACMA and the TIO, to ensure consumers are adequately protected and telcos fulfil their obligations,” O’Loughlin said.
“We can use our powers to take enforcement action against any telco referred to us by the TIO for failing to comply with the Ombudsman’s directions.”
Telecommunications Ombudsman Judi Jones said “This refreshed agreement builds on the already close relationship with the ACMA and shows both organisations are committed to collaboration and effective information sharing.
“Consumers and the telco industry will benefit from both organisations taking decisive action on non-compliance and systemic issues.
“A closer working relationship between our organisations gives clarity and certainty to providers and consumers about the regulatory framework that supports a thriving telecommunications industry.”